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Taste of Fort Macleod a showcase of community’s food and beverage


FORT MACLEOD — People got a taste of Fort Macleod two years ago, and they liked it.
Taste of Fort Macleod — a showcase of unique food and beverages available in the town and district organized by the Chamber of Commerce — continues to grow both in scope and popularity and will reach new heights on Friday, Sept. 9.
“We’re quite excited about what is happening this year,” said Sharon Lecocq, who with Josh Beusekom is co-chairing the organizing committee. “We have had unbelievable community support.”
Not content to rest on the success of Taste of Fort Macleod in its first two years, the Chamber is again expanding the event, which runs from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at Urban Core.
In addition to a delicious sampling of food and drink, the 2016 event features a pit master showdown — a cook-off, if you will — featuring four teams.
“If you are a meat lover — a smoked meat lover — you will love this year’s venue,” Lecocq said.
A local producer has donated a pig, and the pit masters will each cook parts of the animal and present the results to the judges.
“It should be lots of fun,” Lecocq said. “If you are a meat lover you will love it.”
The Chamber of Commerce began a conversation about 3 1/2 years ago about how it could promote and assist local businesses.
Brainstorming led to a suggestion the Chamber host an event where local producers could showcase their wares.
“The whole idea is promoting the locals,” Lecocq said. “And making an opportunity to provide awareness. A lot of people don’t realize how many resources we have in the community.”
Taste of Fort Macleod in its first year attracted a number of vendors as well as a large crowd of people. The Chamber expected about 100 people but the crowd topped 200.
“The first year, we were so overwhelmed,” Lecocq said. “The response was fantastic. The vendors could not believe the attendance at the event.”
Last year a large tent was set up behind Urban Core to accommodate more vendors and about 220 consumers.
This year there will two tents, with 10 vendors already confirmed and room for five more.
The fees for vendors are $25 for Chamber members and $50 for non-members. At the end of the evening vendors get back 50 per cent of the coupons turned in at their booths.
“It basically covers the cost for you,” Lecocq said.
The Chamber this year is offering 100 VIP passes for $25 that includes 20 sample coupons and early admission to Taste of Fort Macleod.
VIPs will be admitted at 5:30 p.m. and will have 30 minutes to sample the goods before the doors are opened to the rest of the patrons, who will pay a $5 admission fee and $1 per sample coupon.
Both vendors and the public have expressed gratitude to the Chamber of Commerce for organizing Taste of Fort Macleod.
“The Chamber’s job is to promote, and people realize they need to shop and buy locally,” Lecocq said. “A lot of people don’t realize what gems we have in our community, and what a big difference it makes supporting businesses in our community.”
“And I really think people have fun and socialize.”
Connections were also made among businesses, with stores now selling products made by local producers.
Taste of Fort Macleod tickets are available at ATB Financial, Tru Hardware, The Macleod Gazette and Chinook Financial.

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